Oscar-nominated actress Ellen Page, along with her best friend Ian Daniel, co-host the Viceland series Gaycation. The project is dedicated to exploring LGBTQ cultures and experiences all around the world. The Juno star first publicly came out of the closet on February 14, 2014, during a speech at the Human Rights Campaign’s “Time to Thrive” conference in Las Vegas. Page and Daniel have recently talked about their new show and what they have experienced so far.
“It’s hard when you really try and pour your heart out and ask, ‘Just why does it affect you or bother you so much if I was to want to marry my girlfriend someday?,’” Ellen Page said, during an interview with Huffington Post Live. “And it is hard when you… don’t feel like there’s an ability to connect.”
Filmmaker Spike Jonze is the co-president of Viceland and is a longtime friend of Ellen Page. One day Jonze told her that he would be launching a new network (Viceland) and wondered if she had any ideas for a show. As it turns out, Ellen did indeed have an idea – something that would essentially be a travel show – centered on LGBTQ issues. Ellen and Ian discussed a number of different locations, communities, and countries they could visit, and they decided to end their trip in America, and explore the LGBTQ issues within the United States. In all, Ellen and Ian visited Brazil, Canada, Japan, Jamaica, and the U.S..
“We’re just experiencing a wall sometimes,” Ian Daniel said. “It’s like the energy seems loving but the language and what they’re actually saying is unloving and it’s unaccepting and I just think you’re always going to have that.”
During one episode that took place in Brazil, Ellen and Ian came across a serial killer, who is called “El Grande,” and targets people in the LGBTQ community. The killer was a former policeman in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, and would find any opportunity to harass, harm, or even kill anyone he suspected of being gay. The man was wearing a mask, covering his face while being interviewed, and revealed that after he had discovered his son having sex with another man, he became violent against gays, lesbians, etc.
Ellen Page had a difficult experience speaking with a religious family who did not support anything within the LGBTQ community. She noted that they were being very generous and kind, allowing Ellen to have an open discussion with them about their beliefs and her sexuality. Even while talking with people who were so kind and friendly, it was still very difficult to deal with the fact that the family was anti-equality.
Miley Cyrus watched the documentary series and went to Instagram to share her thoughts, and how moved she was by what she watched. Miley herself was brought up in a Christian household, where the singer’s mother, Trish, was having a difficult time adjusting to Miley’s bisexuality.
Ellen Page is staying positive about the LGBTQ progress that is being made in the United States. She feels grateful that she was able to create Gaycation, and she says that if she was still in the closet, the series never would have been created.
“I hope that it, absolutely, will change and if we look at the progress that’s happened in this country, it’s been unbelievable,” Page said. “So I think that makes me feel optimistic. That’s what I think I hold onto and thanks to, obviously, all the extraordinary people who’ve fought for equality.”
Ellen Page and Ian Daniel’s Gaycation airs on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET, only on Viceland.
[Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for A+E Networks]